Investing in Not-for-Profits for Global Returns

I often talk about 5 money areas (Make, Save, Spend, Grow, Gift) and how we can focus on each area to align those money habits with our personal values. This week I talked about two of those areas, gifting and growing when I chatted with the Global Returns Project about how they invest in not-for-profits for ‘global returns’ instead of personal financial returns.

The Global Returns Portfolio is the first selection of diverse, effective and scalable not-for-profits directly regenerating the biosphere

The Global Returns Project is a charity, their portfolio is not an investment fund as Not-for-profit organisations do not generate wealth instead they help to protect it by directly regenerating the planet. Delivering returns for the planet, beyond investing sustainably.

You can watch the full Insta-View or read the highlights of our conversation below.

Oliver Tapper, Head of Development at the Global Returns Project.

“We are trying to address two fundamental problems with one solution. And the two problems that we have found since we launched as a charity in October 2020 are first people want to do something about climate change but there is no individual investment product that exists to directly regenerate the planet. And the second issue we find is we know that hiring not profits can have a huge impact yet at the same time, only 2% of global philanthropic giving is going towards projects trying to achieve that.

So I guess as an organisation, what we’re trying to do is build a bridge between these two things. On the one hand, individuals, individuals and investors wanting to do more about the climate crisis, and also climate philanthropy not having the funding it needs to produce huge wins in this decade. So what we’ve done as an organisation is curated the first selection of diverse, effective and scalable not for profits into one group, called the Global Returns Portfolio, which individual investors can contribute to easily. Overall, we’re trying to normalise climate, philanthropy and income, increase that to seven figure, but also bring in investors as a real answer to the question, “What can I do about the climate crisis?” ‘

Catherine: ‘When we make charity donations, for example, or perhaps we invest sustainably it can be hard to recognise what impact has been made or where our money actually went. Whereas with the your project, the Global Returns projects I get a real sense of transparency, that 100% of that money is going to go directly into those not for profits, and therefore we can also see the impact of that. Can you tell us more about the impact and that transparency?’

Oliver: ‘Absolutely. And really, that’s kind of at the core of organisations we started. When we started really, behavioural science behavioural research was the driving force behind how we chose to set up a portfolio and the methodology that goes behind it. And really the the the kind of key takeaways from the behavioural science research is that individuals are most likely to take action if it is normal and easy to do. When individuals are looking to make donations and find organisations they’re overwhelmed by choice and there’s so many out, but it was, as you say, that people don’t always know what the most effective ones are or have time to do research to find out.

We’re comfortable that our methodology, and our way of assessing the whole universe of nonprofits is going to give the best return. 100% of every donation goes to our not-for-profits partners and we produce 6 monthly impact reports showing what those donations achieved. ‘

Catherine: ‘And are you happy to tell us a little bit more about some of your partners, so if I was to contribute today, where’s my money going, who’s it supporting ?’

Oliver ‘ Yeah, absolutely. So first thing to say is that the portfolio is being driven by diversity, we recognise that climate crisis is complex, you need to factor a range of different angles. So we have six partners doing very different things.

  1. Ashden. Finds, funds and supports organisations delivering new, affordable and sustainable energy solutions around the world.
  2. ClientEarth. A team of lawyers using the power of the law to ensure existing environmental laws are respected and to help governments develop effective environmental policies.
  3. Global Canopy. Targets the market forces driving the Climate Crisis and the destruction of nature. Its data platforms enable and increase pressure on companies, investors and governments to halt their impacts on tropical forests and other vital ecosystems.
  4. Rainforest Trusts Uk. Places threatened rainforests under permanent protection through community engagement and local partnerships for the benefit of endangered species, local communities and the climate.
  5. Trillion Trees: A joint venture between three of the world’s largest conservation organisations (Birdlife International, Wildlife Conservation Society and WWF), Trillion Trees aims to ensure one trillion trees have been re-grown, saved from loss and better protected by 2050.
  6. Whale & Dolphin Conservation. Protects whale populations: one of the most underappreciated but important nature-based climate solutions.

To find out more about the global Returns Project watch their youtube video here. If this is a project you’d like to support you can do so here.

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Catherine Thomas-Humphreys trading as The FInflluencer TM | privacy policy | subscribe to mailing list |

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